Your spine is protected against shock and injury by spinal discs, which allow for optimal spinal movement when healthy. When one or more spinal discs bulges or herniates, they can compress the nerves in your lower back or neck, potentially causing a combination of lower back and neck pain, numbness and weakness and “sciatica.”
Depending on your neurological presentation and degree of radiographic abnormality, Dr. Jebraili may recommend non-surgical treatment to address the herniated disc, but in some cases, a lumbar discectomy is necessary.
Some indications for surgical intervention would be loss of strength, degree of disc herniation, duration of symptoms or the patient’s desire to return to a certain activity level as soon as possible. Each patient’s condition is unique and we encourage you to discuss your condition with Dr. Jebraili at the time of your visit.
Lumbar discectomy, also known as microdiscectomy, is a minimally invasive spine surgical procedure performed on the lower back to treat a herniated disc.
Dr. Jebraili utilizes minimally invasive techniques that often allow the patient to undergo outpatient surgery (same-day surgery).
During the procedure, a spine surgeon removes a small portion of your bone, over the nerve root or a portion of your intervertebral disc under the nerve root to relieve nerve compression, and provide maximum space for the nerve to heal.
Am I A Candidate For Lumbar Discectomy?
Your surgeon may recommend undergoing a lumbar discectomy if you have been diagnosed with spinal conditions which may be causing your lower back and leg pain also known as “sciatica”.
What Should I Expect During The Treatment?
Your surgeon makes a small incision, approximately 1 inch long over the spinal level (larger if multiple areas are involved), to be able to target the herniated disc and remove the herniated portion of the nerve root and surrounding neural elements.
Dr. Jebraili will wear surgical magnification loupes ,often combined with surgical microscope to help magnify and illuminate the disc that may be compressing your spinal nerves.
There may be a need to remove a portion of the lamina, which is a thin piece of bone covering the spinal cord, allowing the surgeon to better visualize the disc herniation.
Once the procedure is done, the small retractor is removed and your soft tissues move back into their expected place. Your surgeon will use sutures and staples to close the Incision.
Do I Need To Follow Any Special Instructions Following My Treatment?
Since this is a minimally invasive procedure, you may be up and walking within hours after your surgery. You may feel nauseous due to the anesthesia but this will fade away as the anesthesia wears off. Dr. Jebraili emphasizes to his patients that numbness is generally the last component of nerve recovery and often incomplete. Frequently some numbness is permanent .This is because of the variable recovery process of nerves in the spine which does not necessarily improve with surgery or medications.
Dr. Jebraili utilities an individualized post operative care plan consisting of some or all of the following: pain relievers, muscle relaxants, bracing, icing machine and postoperative physical therapy.